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Digital Communications Regulation

Concerning a study of consumer protection regulation of digital communications platforms.
2021 Regular Session
Professions & Occupations
Telecommunications & Information Technology
Bill Summary

The bill creates the digital communications division (division) and the digital communications commission (commission) within the department of regulatory agencies. On an annual basis and for a reasonable fee determined by the commission, the division shall register directs the joint technology committee to study whether and how the general assembly could address, through legislation, consumer protection concerns related to certain digital communications platforms, which are certain communications-oriented online businesses, such as social media platforms or media-sharing platforms. that conduct business in Colorado or own or operate services that are offered to Colorado residents. A digital communications platform that fails to register with the division commits a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for each day that the violation continues.

The division shall investigate and the commission may hold hearings on claims filed with the division alleging that a digital communications platform has allowed a person to engage in one or more unfair or discriminatory digital communications practices on the platform, which practices: committee is authorized to consult with and seek presentations from various experts including an expert in constitutional first amendment law and the media. The committee may study a digital communications platform's existing policies and practices regarding if and how the digital communications platform's policies and practices

  • Include practices that promote hate speech violence ; undermine election integrity; disseminate intentional disinformation; conspiracy theories, or fake news; or authorize, encourage, or carry out violations of users' privacy; and directly attack protected groups, or chill free speech.
  • May include business, political, or social practices that are conducted in a manner that a person aggrieved by the practices can demonstrate are unfair or discriminatory to the aggrieved person. Such practices, if done in an unfair or discriminatory manner, might include:

  • Practices that target users for purposes of collecting and disseminating users' personal data, including users' sensitive data;
  • Profiling users based on their personal data collected;
  • Selling or authorizing others to use users' personal data to provide location-based advertising or targeted advertising; or
  • Using facial recognition software and other tracking technology.

If a person who files a complaint with the division exhausts all administrative remedies and proceedings, the person may file a civil action in district court alleging an unfair or discriminatory digital communications practice. The committee may also study platforms' use of facial recognition software and other tracking technology, personal data, and design practices that increase data collection without users' consent. The committee may consider whether and how the state could address consumer complaints about a digital communications platform's policies and practices. The committee is required to submit a report to the general assembly on its findings and recommendations on or before the 2022 legislative session commences. If the committee's report includes recommendations of legislation, the introduction of any such legislation during the 2022 legislative session does not count against the 5-bill limit.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. K. Donovan
Rep. B. Titone



Sen. J. Bridges, Sen. L. Garcia, Sen. J. Gonzales, Sen. D. Moreno

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details